Our tips to help your family adjust to the time change
‘Spring Forward’ before bed on Saturday, March 11
It is not our favorite time of year — at all. But that familiar “spring forward” weekend has crept up on us once again, ready or not.
On March 11, we will go to bed and wake up on March 12 with one less hour in our day and our little
roosters kiddies will rise with the sun no matter what time our bodies think it is.
Because Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March, this is nearly the latest DST can start. The clocks will “move forward” one hour at 2 a.m. local standard time on March 12 (so at 2 a.m. on that day, the clocks should then read 3 a.m. local daylight time).
Here are some suggestions, keeping in mind all kids are different. Do what works for your family.
1. Get them up early. I know, I know, it hurts to even hear it. Perhaps you want to do this incrementally; perhaps you prefer to rip off the band-aid less gently. Regardless, start waking up your kids earlier. If you start now, wake them up 5-7 minutes early every day. Or start this week, with 10-minute increments. Regardless of how you do it, this is an excellent example of short-term pain for long-term gain. By the time March 12 rolls around, you’ll all be in line with the time change. (In theory of course. Best laid plans. I know. We hear you.)
2. Go to bed early. Pushing tuck-in time earlier a few minutes every night might achieve the same effect as getting up earlier, but that depends on your kiddo. Sleep experts say that dimming the lights by 50 to 75 percent — and yes, that includes screens — up to an hour before bedtime will increase your kid’s natural production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
3. Run them like ponies. It’s still early, but the weather predicted for the Saturday before DST is going to be a bit wet and chilly. Nonetheless, some vigorous exercise helps to advance our body clocks, experts say. Even if the weather isn’t the greatest, get outside and play! Or, just put them out in the yard and let them run in circles. Kidding! Kind of.
4. Get out of bed. No matter how tempted you are, don’t sleep in. Wake up, sleepyhead! If you snooze, so will your kids and you’ll all pay the price later when everyone is awake at midnight. So bite the bullet and go make breakfast. Our best advice is to drink a lot of coffee. Of course, that’s totally against what any doctor will say, but let’s face it, we’ve been doing this parenting thing a long time.
5. Suck it up, buttercup. Springing forward only happens once a year and everyone will get back on track soon. Don’t despair, they won’t wake up at 5 a.m. for the rest of their lives … only for the rest of the month.
And hey, don’t forget to take this opportunity to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!